Ontario, Canada users of recreational cannabis will be allowed to light up in all areas where tobacco smoke is permitted. This is according to the new Progressive Conservative government.
The government is taking a relaxed approach, announcing that there will be no limit on weed shops when recreational licensing begins. Cities have the option, however, to opt out of hosting the stores. They will have until January to do so.
New reefer rules
Ontario Attorney General Caroline Mulroney and Finance Minister Vic Fedeli announced the new provincial regulations on September 26th. That was the day before new regulations on marijuana are announced.
More clear, less restrictive
The announcement loosens previous regulations, whereby pot smoking was only allowed in private residences. This new regulation should be more clear and less restrictive.
“We’re aligning with the Smoke-Free Ontario Act,” Mulroney said. “If you’re able to smoke tobacco in your home then you’ll be able to use cannabis as well.”
Similar to alcohol, smokers will be prohibited from lighting up in vehicles are boats that are in operation, and fines will be appropriately heavy, ranging from $1000-$5000.
Online sales first, followed by retail stores
The province will begin selling marijuana online when the plant becomes legal in October, and aims to have retail stores in operation by April 2019.
Ontario‘s Alcohol and Gaming Commission will regulate the marijuana market and will have the power to doll out or take away licenses as well as enforce laws surrounding the plant.
Ontario Cannabis Corporation will act as wholesaler
The government will run a new body called the Ontario Cannabis Corporation, which will dispense weed online. It will also act as the ultimate wholesaler to retail stores.
The announcement marks a shift in legislation from the previous provincial Liberal government, whose intention was to sell pot through Ontario’s public liquor stores. Critics say that LCBO staff already have the expertise to sell marijuana to the public responsibly. They also say private pot shops would be harder to control.
The Conservative government, in turn, claims that this method will encourage small business and entrepreneurship in the space, and is a more fair way to operate.